A vital principle of Bible study is to take everything it says into consideration on any particular subject. Often one passage serves to qualify another. Together, they give a more complete picture of God’s will in the matter.
For example, Christians are taught to obey the laws of the land (Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-17).
But what if a specific law of the land is in conflict with God’s word?
The Bible is clear on this: God’s word always has the last word.
When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to obey King Nebuchadnezzar’s order to worship the idol he had set up, they were obeying God’s higher command to have no other gods before Him (Daniel 3).
When Daniel kept praying when it became illegal to do so, God was pleased with his courageous faithfulness (Daniel 6).
When the highest court in Israel, the Sanhedrin, ordered the apostles in no uncertain terms to stop preaching Christ, Peter spoke for all of them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:19-20). “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).
And so . . . .
While God has ordained government, He has not ordained any specific form of government for our day.
But whatever the form of government, God requires that it must not exceed the authority He has given it to maintain order in society.
God never gave rulers carte blanche authority to do as they please.
God detests bribery, corruption, oppression, injustice, or any other abuse of power that hurts the governed.
And so should we.
And another thing . . . .
In addition to the Christian’s responsibility to obey laws that do not violate God’s will and also to pay taxes, we have this from Paul:
“. . . I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.
“This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior . . .” (1 Timothy 2:1-3).
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/
Please like and share this post—and follow this blog!